Lake Vermilion AIS Prevention Funding Approved

St Louis County Commissioners have authorized the distribution of $285,885 to the Sportsmen’s Club of Lake Vermilion to support aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention projects at Lake Vermilion during 2015 and 2016. The majority of these funds will be used for a 10-fold increase in launch-site boat inspections and education at Vermilion’s 54 public and resort boat accesses.

“We are pleased St Louis County will be using a portion of their Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid to support our AIS efforts at Lake Vermilion,” said Jeff Lovgren, president of the Sportsmen’s Club, a 2400-member lake association. “Lake Vermilion is a northern Minnesota treasure, attracting fishermen and recreational boaters from all over the Midwest.”

The Sportsmen’s Club of Lake Vermilion (SCLV) estimates 18,000 boats launch at Lake Vermilion each year. When the new Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park is fully developed, the total number of boats launching on the lake will significantly grow, increasing further the AIS risk to Vermilion’s fishery and business community.

The SCLV will partner with North St Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District to deploy DNR trained Level 1 watercraft inspectors at Vermilion in 2016. “We expect to talk to 9000 boat operators at our launches. We’ll check their boats for invasive species, remind them of Minnesota’s AIS laws, show them how to clean their boats, and give them the tools to report any possible AIS discoveries,” said Terry Grosshauser, SCLV board member and AIS launch site leader.

In addition to its stepped-up launch-site efforts, SCLV will work with other Lake Vermilion stakeholders, local government units and area lake associations on zebra mussel habit assessment projects, low-cost launch-site decontamination methods, early detection projects for and zebra mussels, containment and removal projects for existing curly-leaf pondweed, and a number of public education activities.

The Sportsmen’s Club of Lake Vermilion is committed to doing everything it can to protect the Lake Vermilion fishery and business community by preventing all new AIS and non-AIS stressors and rolling back those already present.

Read eVermilion